Student arrested for shooting
Great Mills HS placed on lockdown due to rumors; suspect, 17, apprehended in Charles
A Great Mills High School student was arrested Wednesday after allegedly shooting a man Tuesday evening in the Hickory Hills neighborhood.
Due to reports that Elijah Miguel Miles, 17, of California may have been near the school, the building was placed on lockdown Wednesday morning while law enforcement swept the building and area. He was later located and arrested in Charles County.
Miles was not seen in or around the school building, said Superintendent Scott Smith in a phone-out recording to parents Wednesday.
Miles was reportedly involved in a shooting the night before in the Hickory Hills neighborhood off of Chancellor’s Run Road, where one male was flown out to an area shock trauma hospital.
During the school lockdown Wednesday, members of the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office SWAT team went through the building, class- room by classroom, as students remained in place. Nobody was injured, school officials said.
Miles was located and arrested in Charles later Wednesday afternoon. In St. Mary’s, Miles is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and possession of a firearm used in commission of a felony, according to the St. Mary’s sheriff’s
Cpl. Julie Yingling, sheriff’s office public information officer, said during a phone call Thursday morning that several students went to their school resource officer and reported the possibility of Miles being in or around the building.
Yingling said Miles “was arrested on our charges only.”
Snow flurries fell briefly that morning as parents and community members gathered at the East Run Center, a MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital satellite medical facility on Great Mills Road across from the high school, and nearby at the Fraternal Order of Police lodge on Chancellor’s Run Road.
The high school, where a shooting occurred on March 20 that resulted in the deaths of two teens and an injury to another, was dismissed early at 12:45 p.m. after the SWAT unit swept the building in search of Miles.
Yingling said during a phone call Wednesday morning that there were rumors that Miles was in the area with a weapon and “with an overabundance of caution” school staff placed the school on lockdown. She said deputies didn’t know what kind of weapon Miles may have been carrying.
“There’s no confirmation of seeing the suspect” at the high school, she said later.
Sgt. David Alexander, who was posted at the FOP building, said to parents that deputies were “taking every precaution” to address the rumors.
Ivan Baker of Great Mills said his daughter, a Great Mills freshman, “was not in a great state of mind” about the lockdown. He said he appreciated that the sheriff’s office was “already on top of it.”
Anissa Davis of Lexington Park said she appreciated the sheriff’s office keeping the community “updated in real time.” She said her daughter, a senior, was “shaken” and “having flashbacks” to the March 20 shooting.
Another parent, Shelley Hall of Lexington Park, said her daughter, a sophomore, texted her to let her know about the lockdown. Hall said her daughter said while messaging that “the teacher barricaded the door with desks.”
“She’ll be stressed after this,” the mother said.
Meanwhile, Donnett Gross of Lexington Park said late Wednesday morning that her son, a senior, had called her. “I was listening for his breathing pattern,” she said, adding that he had reported he and his classmates “were calm” during the lockdown.
Smith said the lockdown was a precautionary measure to allow law enforcement to actively search the area “while keeping students, staff and [our] community safe.”
“We know hearing that a school has been placed in lockdown is frightening,” Smith said, adding that “our first priority is keeping our students and staff safe.”
No one, other than law enforcement, is allowed to enter or leave a school building in lockdown.
Smith said deputies “found no threat on the premises nor in the vicinity of” the high school.
“We are most safe when we see something, say something and act,” he said. Calling the community strong, the superintendent said that “strength comes from our connections to each other, our caring for one another and our commitment to our kids.”
He said the lockdown may have “brought back trauma” resulting from the March 20 shooting. Counseling and other services are made available to students and staff at schools when needed, he said.
St. Mary’s sheriff’s office deputies stand Wednesday at the main entrance to Great Mills High School to block traffic during a lockdown.